Long time friend and fan of Two Fish Divers Steve Childs recently enjoyed another 3 week stint here in the Lembeh Strait with us. Even though his primary interest is cataloguing the many weird and wonderful Nudibranchs and Flabellina we have here in the Straits, he still enjoyed encounters with the other critters we have here especially the Octopi!
We have spent many dives searching for the elusive Blue Ringed Octopus (Genus Hapalochlaena) but on this dive at Critter Hunt, we struck gold! Steve enjoyed some time alone with him but kept a safe enough distance to keep away from that highly venomous bite!! It is hard to believe that something so small, is one the of the deadliest things on the planet! Click on this link to view his video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQz62wYzE30
In a previous blog, you may remember the mention about the giant Mimic Octopus(Thaumoctopus mimicus) that was spotted recently. Sem and Steve found this guy in the shallows at Aer Prang. As you can see from the footage – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dvz5rYixLMk – the octopus is constantly changing his shape and colour. What we found most fascinating is the section where the Mimic is swimming towards the surface, these creatures spend most of their time hiding in the sand checking out its surroundings so seeing one displaying this type of behavior would appear very unusual!
Thanks Steve so much for the links! If anyone else has videos they would like to share then please upload them and send me the link or contact me for Two Fish You Tube account details – firstname.lastname@example.org
As we enter into May the resort has quieted down a little bit, so we are taking advantage of this and going out on some fun dives together! Of course we are also constantly trying spot some cool critters for our guests but our great guides do not need too much help in that department!
As we headed out this morning, it started to drizzle but it didn’t dampen our spirits – we are going to get wet anyway!! We dropped in at Makawide Island and headed off to the dark depths but found some a couple of Thorny Seahorses alongside loads of beautiful nudibranchs. Franz , the guide out diving today spotted a gorgeous Warty Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) and so the group enjoyed passing the time on their safety stop watching him amble along the rubble!!
After a quick boat ride, we dropped in at our next site – I’m being secretive so the other resorts don’t find out what we found there!! About 15 minutes into our dive, Franz patiently tapped on his tank to get everyone’s attention. I was the first on the scene and was greeted with the amazing sight of this guy!! We see many Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) here in Lembeh but this was the first time any of us had seen one that was matching the orange sponge that he was sitting next to! He was really acting for us – wriggling his lure like crazy trying to attract some prey!
Frogfish lures their prey actively to where it can strike. Its lure mimics food such as worms or small fish. The prey approaches to catch the lure and then is engulfed by the waiting frogfish. This is known as aggressive mimicry.
Thanks to Gizmo for being on hand with his camera to get a couple of great shots of these amazing fish.
Two Fish Divers Lembeh had an awesome morning of diving today!! Firstly we saw many ( we counted 6 ) Pygmy Seahorses, Pegasus Sea Moths and much more at Nudi Retreat. The dive was nice and relaxing, good viz and no current!! We then moved onto our second site and saw this magnificent Weedy Scorpionfish ( Rhinopias frondosa) . I was particularly happy as it was my first sighting of the famous Rhinopias – they could probably hear me cheering on the boat!!
The Weedy Scorpionfish is a solitary creature and you’ll find him hanging around rubble area between 8-25m. They come in many colours ranging from lavender to red.
Some of our divers were lucky enough to see this giant mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus). The Mimic Octopus are active during the day ( we will soon be posting some awesome footage of this guy – keep an eye out!!), playing by themselves or hiding on sandy bottoms. It is known to mimic up to 17 different species, including sea snake, flounder, lionfish, sting ray and feather star.
Thank you to Frits and Steve for these lovely photos and to everyone for an awesome morning of diving!!
Recently we had Josef & Vera Litt from the Czech Republic staying with us at both Two Fish Lembeh and Bunaken.
Josef is an avid and excellent underwater photographer and has recently set up Help The Seas organisation. Their purpose is to help raise funds for conservation projects and Help The Sea is currently supporting Seacology and Archelon.
Shortly he has assured us that he will be posting photos that he took in both Bunaken and Lembeh, so please go to www.helptheseas.org to have a look and to find out more information about Help The Seas.
On Friday we were enjoying a nice dive at TK2, when we came across our fourth frogfish of the dive but this one was look slightly distressed and on closer inspection we saw that he had a hook with fishing line attached to his lip. We quickly whipped out a knife to cut the line so he would not get it caught on anything and therefore cause himself more pain.
When we got back to the resort, we mentioned this to a few other guests and we decided that one group of our divers would go back the following day to remove the hook from the fish’s’ mouth as with the hook in there he was not able to open his mouth properly and so could not feed.
So yesterday morning we sent Cara and Lucia from The Netherlands along with Marina and Johnny from Belgium (who are here for their second stay with us at Two Fish Divers Lembeh!) along with Opo back to TK2.
The group were very careful to ensure the frogfish did not get hurt in the process of removing the hook and they stayed with him for 10 minutes to check he was OK! He definitely seemed better as he went for a walk across the bottom to find a new rock to hide against!
Cara got some great video footage and I hope to be able to add the link soon. Thanks to Johnny for some great stills and Well Done to all of you for helping this guy out!
Here is the link to the video as promised!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEBt1t46tCM
** We do operate a No Gloves policy at Two Fish Lembeh but we allowed them to be worn during this operation.